And the vacation comes to an end! As I am writing this blog, I am once again flying over the Atlantic Ocean heading back to North America – Philadelphia to be exact – where we’ll be taking a connecting flight back to Toronto.
I am actually quite irritated right now, as the lady sitting in front of me – quite the ignorant one, might I add – has decided to recline the seat all the way back, jump in and out of her seat, rustle paper wrap, crush soda cans, and anything that will cause noise and/or discomfort to anyone around her. All I am thinking about right now is five hours left until landing. Clearly, I’ve blessed. Did you catch my sarcasm?
I am saddened to be leaving Europe as it was quite the enjoyable “Amazing Race,” but I am also extremely thrilled to return home to my life, my friends, family, dogs, and work. There, I said it – work. I am, however, not excited to return home to the slew of emails sitting in my inbox. All seven-hundred-and-thirty of them in my WinstonSih.com account alone.
Europe was a great experience for me personally. As I have not been, I was able to learn quite a few things about European culture – something very different from the North American counterpart.
For example, Europeans love to live a relaxed lifestyle. I mean, I know North Americans do too, but Europeans know how to do it well! I love the fact that most cities take Sundays as a day off – something I wish we as Torontonians would do more often. We live in such a rushed society, we rarely get a moment to take a step back, reflect on our daily lives, and to count our blessings. Europeans know how to have fun (*cough* eat *cough*), and make room for family.
Family brings me to my next point of information. I found the people in Europe to be very proud of their country’s culture, traditions and heritage. Now it may sound very cliche – and a great opportunity for the souvenir industry – but in all honesty, I love that a country is able to wear themselves proudly. For example, Paris is proud of their arts and culture; Holland is proud of their countryside windmills/cheese making; and Germany is known for their love of beer. Again they all sound very cliché, but it just shows the true power of tradition and heritage, as well as how it can be presented to visiting tourists.
I also really enjoyed the fact that Europe has a sense of unity. The European Union brings together dozens of countries and bonds them together. It creates a community that unites the continent into one. Living in Toronto, it is not uncommon to see people speak other languages like Tamil, Urdu, Cantonese, Mandarin, and the list goes on. What you rarely see is people speaking our other official language – French. It amazed me that people in Europe are familiar with the multiple official languages of the country, and are able to communicate effectively with other locals.
I can go on and on about how much I enjoyed being a witness to European culture, and I’m also sure there’s a lot I’ve yet to learn. I definitely plan on returning in the future on another journey, exploring a few other new countries, in addition to sharing them with you lovely readers once again. The travel bug has bit me, and I look forward to my next adventure!
Thanks for coming along with me on my March-2012 journey through Europe!